The former head of the Central Intelligence Agency is cautioning Canadian officials to keep in mind the delicate balance between security and privacy when crafting new laws. In an interview with CBC Radio’s The House, retired U.S. general and former CIA director David Petraeus said that balance should be at the heart of an open and transparent debate. “The general thrust of this always has to be, again, to strike […]
I had a telephone call today from a subscriber to my genealogy newsletter who wanted to renew a subscription. I asked him why he didn’t renew using the online form on the Web site. He replied that he didn’t trust entering his credit card number online. He preferred to give the number to me over the telephone. This isn’t a new experience. I have had similar phone calls in the […]
Everyone worries about online privacy and data thieves and then ignores the bigger potential losses of privacy. Did you know that the Postal Service uses a mail imaging program to photograph the exterior of every piece of paper mail sent in the United States? According to a “surveillance audit” done by the postal inspector general, which the sleuths at The New York Times uncovered, nearly 50,000 requests from law-enforcement officials […]
Are you aware that most of the Internet’s search engines track you and collect your web surfing activities? One oddly-named search engine works to protect your privacy. In fact, the use of DuckDuckGo is exploding. DuckDuckGo is an Internet search engine that emphasizes protecting searchers’ privacy and avoiding the “filter bubble” of personalized search results. DuckDuckGo obtains its data from multiple search engines and organizes the results in a manner that […]
In June of 2014, Senators Mark Udall, Ron Wyden and Rand Paul offered a rare show of election-year unanimity when they penned a joint statement arguing that “it is more important than ever to let Congress and the administration know that Americans will reject half-measures that could still allow the government to collect millions of Americans’ records without any individual suspicion or evidence of wrongdoing.” Udall and Wyden, both Democrats, […]
One of the best bargains available in VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) telephones also offers some degree of privacy. Calls made from one Ooma telephone to any other Ooma telephone are encrypted. That is, the calls are either very difficult or perhaps impossible to wiretap. That is a big advantage for anyone who wishes to keep telephone conversations private.
Are You Still Using a Pre-Snowden Search Engine? Did you know that every time you use a regular search engine, your search data is recorded? Major search engines, including Google, Bing, Yahoo, and almost all the rest, capture your IP address every time you visit and use tracking cookies to make a record of your search terms, the time of your visit, and the links you choose. Then they store […]